Almost 1,000 Bedford residents sign general election petition

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Almost 1,000 people in Bedford have signed an online petition calling for a general election, figures show.

The economic turmoil brought on by the Government's recent mini-budget has caused anger among many, with numerous public figures suggesting Prime Minister Liz Truss – or even her entire cabinet – should step down in order to restore stability.

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On Monday the new Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, reneged on most of the tax cuts laid out in the mini-budget in an attempt to win back critics of Ms Truss' administration.

The Palace of Westminster, LondonThe Palace of Westminster, London
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Nevertheless, a petition on the Parliament website calling for a general election has reached nearly 650,000 signatures – with 929 coming from people living in the Bedford constituency as of 5pm today (Wednesday).

The petition asks for "an immediate general election to end the chaos of the current government".

It lists the war in Ukraine, problems with the Northern Ireland protocol, looming recession and renewed calls for Scottish independence as among "the greatest set of challenges we have seen in our lifetimes".

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"Let the people decide who leads us through this turmoil," the petition concludes.

The three largest opposition parties in Westminster – Labour, the Scottish National Party, and the Liberal Democrats – all called for a general election last week, in response to the economic problems brought on by the Government's September mini-budget.

Sir Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said the Prime Minister had "trashed the British economy" and "humiliated the Conservative Government in the eyes of the world".

People are angry, they are fed up, and they’re worried about the future, but above all, they are furious with this Conservative Party, so I think it’s time they had their say – it’s time for a general election,” he told BBC News on Friday.

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At 645,103 signatures and counting, it is currently the most signed open petition on the Parliament website.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer also heaped scorn on Ms Truss's Government, calling the events of the last month "grotesque chaos".

He laid the blame squarely on the Conservative party for surging mortgage rates and pensions dropping in value.

Mr Hunt appeared to rule out an early election over the weekend.

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Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme about how long Ms Truss would remain Prime Minister, Mr Hunt replied: "what the country wants now is stability".

He said the Government "will judged by what we deliver over the next 18 months" – suggesting he does not think there will be an election before then.

In a response to the petition on September 20, the Government said: "The UK is a Parliamentary democracy and the Conservative Party remains the majority party.

"The Prime Minister has pledged to ensure opportunity and prosperity for all people and future generations."